In truly festive spirit, the upcoming Chinese New Year wine tasting on January 16 by Bettane + Desseauve looks to the auspicious color of red to ring in the traditional holiday, with a spoilt collection of red wines around the world. From Piedmont in Italy to Limoux in France and Adelaide Hills in Australia, the tasting will deliver varied eclectic and exciting bottles to Hong Kong’s wine crowd.
The event will also donate 20% of all ticket sales, as well as 100% profits from Adelaide Hills wine sales to fire-affected wine communities in Australia, as raging bushfires scorches vineyards and millions of animals. This is a rare chance to help a charitable cause by drinking wines, many of which are from Australia.
Here are top five picks at the tasting on January 16, including an Italian red made by the president of first Republic of Italy.
Isolabella Della Croce Monferrato Rosso DOC La Marne 2013 (Piedmont, Italy)
A blend of Barbera, Neibiolo and Dolcetto grapes from Monferrato Rosso DOC region in northwestern Italy’s Piedmont, the wine is a fleshy and bright red crafted by Isolabella Della Croce winery. An elegant and approachable wine at a young age, the wine is made using de-stemmed grapes that went through a soft crushing and maceration before being fermented at a controlled temperature in horizontal vats.
Tasting note: Ruby in color, the wine is a bright and fruity with red fruits. Made from a cool vintage, the nose is redolent of red fruits and a hint of herbaceous aroma and haystack. The acidity is well balanced and it has a persistent finish.
The wine is sold in Hong Kong through Wine Discovery.
Klein Constantia Estate blend 2016 (Western Cape, South Africa)
The iconic South African winery, Klein Constantia, is probably best known for its Vin de Constance, the late harvest sweet wine. Its red wines made with the same attention deserve much of the acclaim as well. The Estate Blend made from 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Malbec, 19% Shiraz and 16% Petit Verdot is a balanced, refined and elegant wine that can be cellared away for years.
The grapes used in the blend are planted in one of the coolest wine growing regions in South Africa’s western Cape. The winery was able to achieve ripeness in conjunction with delicate tannins, creating a more elegant and refined red wine.
Tasting note: Deep ruby red in appearance. The Estate Red boasts a lively nose with rich dark fruit from ripe plums to blackcurrant balanced with a perfume of elegant oak spice. The palate is refined with delicate red fruit backed up by well-integrated tannin that allows for a long savory finish.
The wine is available in Hong Kong through Northeast Wines & Spirits.
Petaluma B&V Vineyard Shiraz 2015 (Adelaide Hills, Australia)
A single vineyard Shiraz made from old vines planted in 1992 in Adelaide Hills, the wine is crafted by Australia’s leading winery, Petaluma. Grown on micaceous schist soils on the western escarpment of Mt. Barker on the eastern edge of the Adelaide Hills, the wine is made from selected grapes from two preferred parcels, “Provis” and “Wendouree”. The Shiraz planted at the winery benefited from a large diurnal temperature range through the growing season, which gives it a slow ripening for optimal flavors. The 2015 vintage B&V Shiraz is also the first wine to be certified organically grown and made by Petaluma.
Tasting note: Big and brooding, it is a spicy aromatic cool climate Shiraz. Fragrant black pepper and spices blend with dark fruits and delicate cedar oak to produce a rich elegant mocha chocolate dry red, with abundant soft sandy natural tannins.
The wine is sold in Hong Kong through Wine n’ things.
Anne de Joyeuse Very Limoux AOC Limoux 2016 (Limoux, France)
This is a blend of Merlot, Syrah, Malbec and Cabernet made by corporative winery Anne de Joyeuse in Limoux of France. Created as a tribute to French nobleman Duc de Joyeuse, the winery was founded in 1927. The red wine grapes are first planted in 1972 and are handpicked during harvest. Each variety is vinified separately under controlled temperature. Syrah and Malbec grapes are macerated at a cold temperature before their fermentation, while Cabernet and Merlot musts macerate for a long period of 30 days. The wines are matured in conical form casks for eight months, then blended.
Tasting note: ‘Very Limoux’ red should be decanted an hour before serving at room temperature. Bright ruby in color, the nose reveals scents of Morello cherries, blackcurrant and raspberry which develop on the soft and elegant palate.
The wine is available in Hong Kong through Summum Wines.
Poderi Luigi Einaudi Barbera Langhe DOC 2017 (Piedmont, Italy)
The 100% Barbera wine is from one of Italy’s fabled estates in Piedmont, Poderi Luigi Einaudi. Founded in 1897 by Luigi Einaudi, who later became president of first Republic of Italy in 1948, the estate is said to have never missed a harvest despite its owner’s busy schedule.
The Barbera grapes are planted in San Luigi and San Giacomo in Dogliani. The wine is fermented in steel and concrete tanks at a controlled temperature (30°C) before being racked for 8-10 days.
Tasting note: Ruby red in colour with tones of garnet. It has an intense and mature aroma, is full bodied, has a taste of red berries. It’s aged for a few months in oak barrels, followed by some months in bottle before being released. The annual production is 21,000 bottles.
The wine is sold in Hong Kong through Wine Discovery.